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Conventional Office vs Serviced Office vs Coworking Space

Conventional Office vs Serviced Office vs Coworking Space

With the advent of coworking space, many companies here in Greater KL are now spoilt for choice and face a dilemma when choosing where they should set up base. So what is it that sets coworking spaces apart from the standard serviced offices? And where do they stand in a market saturated with conventional offices? Here we will explore the pros and cons of each option, as well as identifying what type of businesses that are best suited for it.

What is a conventional office?

This is a commercial space where a tenant would rent (< 3 years) or lease (> 3 years) a designated premise from a landlord for their business operations.

There are a few different premise conditions ranging from bare all the way to fully furnished, which means a company can potentially save a ton if they find a space that suits their requirement. However if a company does decide to renovate on their own, the sky’s the limit to create a fun and intuitive workspace or they could simply create a functional no nonsense office for better efficiency.

A conventional office is normally recommended for businesses that are more established with predictable growth in workforce, as well as having a substantial and stable financial backing.

A conventional office is normally recommended for businesses that are more established with predictable growth in workforce, as well as having a substantial and stable financial backing.


  • More flexibility in terms of size acquisition, potential to even rent the entirety of an office building
    Privacy and security
  • Can renovate it to specific desires and functionality
  • Affordable monthly rent since there are offices out there for all kinds of budget
  • Bigger organizations can obtain naming and/or signage rights for branding purposes


  • Initial expenditure may be higher due to renovation cost
  • More obstacles to overcome with renovation, legal discussions, negotiations, etc. all requiring attention
  • Layout of existing furnished premises may not be suitable
  • Tied down for a longer term with minimum tenancy of 2+1 years up to 3+3 years in most case

How about serviced offices?

These are fully equipped offices managed by service providers across different buildings, offering budding businesses and temporary workforce alike a short to medium term office solution.

Most serviced office providers spend a small fortune to renovate the space, so that users can just bring their laptops in to start operations immediately in a conducive environment. Contract agreement typically lasts 3 to 12 months with the added flexibility of being able to expand or reduce their workforce at any given time. Services such as boardroom/ training room rental, printing services, and even the food & beverage from the pantry are all additional options that would be factored into the monthly cost.

The target audience for serviced offices are usually new startups, project-based employees/ companies, or even smaller scale businesses, whereby flexibility would be beneficial.


  • Flexible adjustments for both tenancy period and headcount
  • Lower initial outlay with less deposits and no renovation cost
  • Office environment already professionally renovated
  • Prestigious corporate address
  • Potentially more business opportunities as companies there are encouraged to collaborate amongst each other
  • Save time as users can start operations immediately


  • Less privacy
  • Less cost effective than conventional offices in the long run
  • Size of room or existing layout may not be suitable
  • Will need to do prior reservations for boardroom/ meeting rooms
  • Additional options can be costly

Aren’t coworking spaces the same thing?

Similar to but not exactly the same as serviced offices, it is also a fully equipped office managed by a service provider offering similar services. However, the key difference is that coworking spaces allow more freedom for its occupants to mingle around with each other.

Likewise coworking spaces are beautifully renovated by the providers, however more emphasis is placed on collaborative efforts between users. Office concepts like hotdesks, common facilities, and event space are key selling points in coworking spaces for user interactions and business development purposes.

New startups, or other similar budding businesses that require more exposure are suited to coworking spaces. That being said, there is a growing number of large corporations collaborating with coworking spaces for their expansion plans.


  • Flexibility
  • Lower capital expenditure
  • Professionally renovated
  • Prestigious corporate address
  • Better exposure for companies to demonstrate their goods and services
  • Save time


  • Even less privacy
  • Less cost effective in the long run
  • Design or layout may not be suitable
  • Prior arrangement for facilities
  • Additional options can be costly

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